Are we ready for summer 2023?
I can assure you the lake is ready for the summer migration as we merge the full-timers with the vacationers and part-timers who will soon fill the 20,000 acres and 350 miles of shoreline not to mention the grocery stores, restaurants (we have some new ones) and shopping areas, etc.
We are always reluctant to toot our own horn and I've learned long ago to never take credit for anything. People will notice. However, now is not the time to get complacent since we have already had one boater who tried to drive over (not under) the EF Bridge.
A recent article in a newspaper at a nearby lake in Virginia noted 22 boating safety accidents in 2022. My memory isn't what it was but I can think of less than 10 here on Lake Gaston last summer.
The facts are the water safety record on Lake Gaston year after year is very good. Why is that? I'd like to think boater safety training and awareness by the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council, the USCG Auxiliary Flotilla 9-3 monthly boater safety classes, the LGA Public Safety Committee and we can't forget NC Wildlife, Virginia Department of Water Resource Management and the first responders (both volunteer and paid) who are ready to respond on a moments notice. Surely all are contributing factors.
What can you do to prevent boating safety accidents this year? Of course, the answer is awareness and boat responsibly. No drinking when operating a watercraft and wear the PFD (it's mandatory for my visiting grandkids and young guests) down at the boathouse and while underway. Always a good reminder to be considerate of others with your wake.
It's all common sense. We just can't let our guard down this boating season.
For more safe boating tips, please visit the Lake Gaston Water Safety Council website: www.lkgwsc.org.
My wish to all is a safe and fun boating season. Let's all enjoy this beautiful lake and never forget to watch out for the other guy.
Past President, Lake Gaston Water Safety Council